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Old 05 March 2008, 09:32   #1
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Help With Boat Selection

I moved from mostly river and lake boating to the shore of Lake Michigan, and having no experiance with RIBs, have no idea how much boat I need for multi-day trips on the Great Lakes (getting there is important, getting back is key, and we all know how the forcasts can be). Right now I am looking at a 6 x 2.3 meter RIB as well as a 25' x 10' foot RIB. The 6 meter is easily towable, but not all that big when you have a side-by-side console (this is important). The 25 foot boat seems to be the right size, but it will be to large to put on a trailer and tow. I live 2.5 miles form my landing so I would just tow it to and from the launch anyway (yea, I'm an outlaw) but if I were to tow out of town I would deflate the tubes and it would be perfectly legal without a special permit for width reasons (less than 8.5 feet wide).

Anybody have any guidance for an ignorant midwesterner?
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Old 05 March 2008, 12:13   #2
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Are you going to overnighting on-board, or camping/lodging on shore?

Not too many RIB's around with berths (though I'm sure there are a few); not too sure how sleeping on-deck would be (especially if you're already concerned about weather.)

jky
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Old 05 March 2008, 12:28   #3
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Overnights would be hotels/campsites. That post does sound odd now that I read it again. What I intended it to mean, on a 3 day trip, I could be up to 12 hours from the landing. I might stay onboard for a night or two in an odd circumstance, but I don't want any sort of cuddy/berth.

Maybe this will help: I drive Jeep Wranglers and am not use to having the common options of normal automobiles, I am looking for a simular "vehicle" for the water. Something to get me there and back with out turning my wife off from it with the feeling of riding an innertube to hell in bad weather
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Old 05 March 2008, 14:00   #4
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Great Lakes ribs

Speaking as someone with a little experience useing ribs on a Great Lake I'll throw in my two cents worth... get at least a 18 ft boat, if you get a typical short chop like we have up here you'll get bounced around a bit but still be able to use the boat comfortably most days. I would recommend at least a 22 ft. boat if you are planning going out whenever wherever, the 25 you are mentioning sounds best to me, that would be ideal. I had a 18 ft Nautica, liked it a lot, then a 22 ft. Nautica, REALLY liked it, and finally my current boat which, well... a big rib is just a blast to run, ask anyone who has one... really...
Get a 25 ft rib? You'll love the boat..
Regarding towing, I tow my boat all the time (usually just two miles to the ramp and back) with no problems whatsoever, I also tow it seventy miles one way in the spring and fall with no issues though I do deflate the tubes on the long hauls... hope that helps.
One other thing, I routinely launch and haul my boat by myself, the rib is a lot easier to handle than than a typical glass boat imho.
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Old 05 March 2008, 14:32   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pathalla View Post
One other thing, I routinely launch and haul my boat by myself, the rib is a lot easier to handle than than a typical glass boat imho.
I had no problem launching my 24 footer into the middle of the street by myself.
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Old 05 March 2008, 14:44   #6
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Launching

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I had no problem launching my 24 footer into the middle of the street by myself.
Blame the trailer.... that's what I do, if, I make a tactical error.
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Old 05 March 2008, 17:18   #7
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Thanks alot.

That sounds like an old instructer I had:

Got a big RIB? Get one.
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Old 06 March 2008, 10:01   #8
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I've towed a 24' RIB cross-country many many times without any unusual problems. I prefer to keep the tubes inflated so I don't need to tie them down, even though it makes the boat over-wide and I must adjust pressure when going over the mountains. The police have stopped me only twice in more than 90k miles for being overwide and I avoided a ticket by deflating the tubes (temporarily). I would agree with Pathella, if you have the choice definately go for the bigger boat.
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Old 06 March 2008, 11:59   #9
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Well, if the wife's involved, I'd suggest the bigger the better. A larger boat will handle rough weather with less discomfort, relatively speaking.

12 hour runs? Having something resembling a head may be a good idea. And have someplace set up such that someone can lie down in relative comfort.

jky
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Old 07 March 2008, 14:00   #10
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I am definitly getting a head. I have seen a couple of clever designs using the front of the console that maintain decency quite well when the time comes to use it.

I wouldn't normally plan for more than a 6 hour leg, but if you are 2 "days" out, and the weather is coming in, it would be a long ride home, which was my concern with how big a craft to obtain in the first place if I was to be stuck in something rolling in.
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